GATE Chemistry Syllabus


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Sections/Units Topics
Section A Physical Chemistry
Unit 1 Structure
Unit 2 Equilibrium
Unit 3 Kinetics
Unit 4 Surfaces and Interfaces
Section B Inorganic Chemistry
Unit 1 Main Group Elements
Unit 2 Transition Elements
Unit 3 Lanthanides and Actinides
Unit 4 Organometallics
Unit 5 Radioactivity
Unit 6 Bioinorganic Chemistry
Unit 7 Solids
Unit 8 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
Section C Organic Chemistry
Unit 1 Stereochemistry
Unit 2 Reaction Mechanisms
Unit 3 Organic Synthesis
Unit 4 Pericyclic Reactions and Photochemistry
Unit 5 Heterocyclic Compounds
Unit 6 Biomolecules
Unit 7 Spectroscopy

Course Syllabus

Section A: Physical Chemistry

Unit 1: Structure

  • Postulates of quantum mechanics

  • Time dependent and time independent Schrödinger equations

  • Born interpretation

  • Particle in a box

  • Harmonic oscillator

  • Rigid rotor

  • Hydrogen atom: atomic orbitals

  • Multi-electron atoms: orbital approximation

  • Variation and first order perturbation techniques

  • Chemical bonding: Valence bond theory and LCAO-MO theory

  • Hybrid orbitals

  • Applications of LCAO-MOT to H2+, H2 and other homonuclear diatomic molecules, heteronuclear diatomic molecules like HF, CO, NO, and to simple delocalized π – electron systems

  • Huckel approximation and its application to annular π – electron systems

  • Symmetry elements and operations

  • Point groups and character tables

  • Origin of selection rules for rotational, vibrational, electronic and Raman spectroscopy of diatomic and polyatomic molecules

  • Einstein coefficients

  • Relationship of transition moment integral with molar extinction coefficient and oscillator strength

  • Basic principles of nuclear magnetic resonance: nuclear g factor, chemical shift, nuclear coupling

Unit 2: Equilibrium

  • Laws of thermodynamics
  • Standard states
  • Thermochemistry
  • Thermodynamic functions and their relationships −
    • Gibbs-Helmholtz and Maxwell relations
    • Van’t Hoff equation
  • Criteria of spontaneity and equilibrium
  • Absolute entropy
  • Partial molar quantities
  • Thermodynamics of mixing
  • Chemical potential
  • Fugacity, activity and activity coefficients
  • Chemical equilibria
  • Dependence of equilibrium constant on temperature and pressure
  • Non-ideal solutions
  • Ionic mobility and conductivity
  • Debye-Huckel limiting law
  • Debye-Huckel-Onsager equation
  • Standard electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • Potentiometric and conductometric titrations
  • Phase rule
  • Clausius Clapeyron equation
  • Phase diagram of one component systems: CO2, H2O, S
  • Two component systems −
    • Liquid-vapour system
    • Liquid-liquid system
    • Solid-liquid systems
  • Fractional distillation
  • Azeotropes and eutectics
  • Statistical thermodynamics −
    • Microcanonical and canonical ensembles
    • Boltzmann distribution
    • Partition functions
    • Thermodynamic properties

Unit 3: Kinetics

  • Transition state theory −
    • Eyring equation
    • Thermodynamic aspects
  • Potential energy surfaces and classical trajectories
  • Elementary, parallel, opposing and consecutive reactions
  • Steady state approximation
  • Mechanisms of complex reactions
  • Unimolecular reactions
  • Kinetics of polymerization and enzyme catalysis
  • Fast reaction kinetics: relaxation and flow methods
  • Kinetics of photochemical and photophysical processes

Unit 4: Surfaces and Interfaces

  • Physisorption and chemisorption
  • Langmuir, Freundlich and BET isotherms
  • Surface catalysis: Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism
  • Surface tension, viscosity
  • Self-assembly
  • Physical chemistry of colloids, micelles and macromolecules

Section B: Inorganic Chemistry

Unit 1: Main Group Elements

  • Hydrides, halides, oxides, oxoacids, nitrides, sulfides – shapes and reactivity

  • Structure and bonding of boranes, carboranes, silicones, silicates, boron nitride, borazines and phosphazenes

  • Allotropes of carbon

  • Chemistry of noble gases, pseudohalogens, and interhalogen compounds

  • Acid-base concepts

Unit 2: Transition Elements

  • Coordination chemistry −

    • structure and isomerism

    • Theories of bonding (VBT, CFT, and MOT)

  • Energy level diagrams in various crystal fields, CFSE, applications of CFT, Jahn-Teller distortion

  • Electronic spectra of transition metal complexes −

    • Spectroscopic term symbols

    • Selection rules

    • Orgel diagrams

    • Charge-transfer spectra

  • Magnetic properties of transition metal complexes

  • Reaction mechanisms −

    • Kinetic and thermodynamic stability

    • Substitution and redox reactions

Unit 3: Lanthanides and Actinides

  • Recovery
  • Periodic properties
  • Spectra properties
  • Magnetic properties

Unit 4: Organometallics

  • 18-Electron rule
    • metal-alkyl
    • metal-carbonyl
    • metal-olefin and metalcarbene complexes
    • metallocenes
  • Fluxionality in organometallic complexes
  • Types of organometallic reactions
  • Homogeneous catalysis −
    • Hydrogenation
    • Hydroformylation
    • Acetic acid synthesis
    • Metathesis and olefin oxidation
  • Heterogeneous catalysis −
    • Fischer-Tropsch reaction
    • Ziegler-Natta polymerization

Unit 5: Radioactivity

  • Decay processes
  • Half-life of radioactive elements
  • Fission and fusion processes

Unit 6: Bioinorganic Chemistry

  • Ion (Na+ and K+) transport
  • Oxygen binding
  • Transport and utilization
  • Electron transfer reactions
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Metalloenzymes containing −
    • Magnesium
    • Molybdenum
    • Iron
    • Cobalt
    • Copper
    • Zinc

Unit 7: Solids

  • Crystal systems and lattices
  • Miller planes
  • Crystal packing
  • Crystal defects
  • Bragg’s law
  • Ionic crystals
  • Structures of AX, AX2, ABX3 type compounds
  • Spinels
  • Band theory
  • Metals
  • Semiconductors

Unit 8: Instrumental Methods of Analysis

  • UV-visible spectrophotometry
  • NMR and ESR spectroscopy
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Chromatography including GC and HPLC
  • Electroanalytical methods −
    • Polarography
    • Cyclic voltammetry
    • Ion-selective electrodes
  • Thermoanalytical methods

Section C: Organic Chemistry

Unit 1: Stereochemistry

  • Chirality of organic molecules with or without chiral centres and determination of their absolute configurations

  • Relative stereochemistry in compounds having more than one stereogenic centre

  • Homotopic, enantiotopic and diastereotopic atoms, groups and faces

  • Stereoselective and stereospecific synthesis

  • Conformational analysis of acyclic and cyclic compounds

  • Geometrical isomerism

  • Configurational and conformational effects, and neighbouring group participation on reactivity and selectivity/specificity

Unit 2: Reaction Mechanisms

  • Basic mechanistic concepts −

    • Kinetic versus thermodynamic control

    • Hammond’s postulate and Curtin-Hammett principle

  • Methods of determining reaction mechanisms through identification of products, intermediates and isotopic labeling

  • Nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution reactions (both aromatic and aliphatic)

  • Addition reactions to carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom (N, O) multiple bonds

  • Elimination reactions

  • Reactive intermediates −

    • Carbocations

    • Carbanions

    • Carbenes

    • Nitrenes

    • Arynes

    • Free radicals

  • Molecular rearrangements involving electron deficient atoms

Unit 3: Organic Synthesis

  • Synthesis, reactions, mechanisms and selectivity involving the following classes of compounds −

    • Alkenes

    • Alkynes

    • Arenes

    • Alcohols

    • Phenols

    • Aldehydes

    • Ketones

    • Carboxylic acids

    • Esters

    • Nitriles

    • Halides

    • Nitro compounds

    • Amines and amides

  • Uses of Mg, Li, Cu, B, Zn and Si based reagents in organic synthesis

  • Carbon-carbon bond formation through coupling reactions - Heck, Suzuki, Stille and Sonogoshira

  • Concepts of multistep synthesis −

    • Retrosynthetic analysis

    • Strategic disconnections

    • Synthons and synthetic equivalents

  • Umpolung reactivity – formyl and acyl anion equivalents

  • Selectivity in organic synthesis – chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity

  • Protection and deprotection of functional groups

  • Concepts of asymmetric synthesis – resolution (including enzymatic), desymmetrization and use of chiral auxiliaries

  • Carbon-carbon bond forming reactions through enolates (including boron enolates), enamines and silyl enol ethers.

  • Michael addition reaction

  • Stereoselective addition to C = O groups (Cram and Felkin-Anh models)

Unit 4: Pericyclic Reactions and Photochemistry

  • Electrocyclic, cycloaddition and sigmatropic reactions
  • Orbital correlations - FMO and PMO treatments
  • Photochemistry of alkenes, arenes and carbonyl compounds
  • Photooxidation and photoreduction
  • Di-π-methane rearrangement, Barton reaction

Unit 5: Heterocyclic Compounds

  • Structure
  • Preparation
  • Properties and reactions of furan
  • Pyrrole
  • Thiophene
  • Pyridine
  • Indole
  • Quinolone
  • Isoquinoline

Unit 6: Biomolecules

  • Structure
  • Properties and reactions of mono- and di-saccharides
  • Physicochemical properties of amino acids
  • Chemical synthesis of peptides
  • Structural features of proteins
  • Nucleic acids
  • Steroids
  • Terpenoids
  • Carotenoids
  • Alkaloids

Unit 7: Spectroscopy

  • Applications of UV-visible, IR, NMR and Mass spectrometry in the structural determination of organic molecules

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